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The Danger of Heels

High_heels_All_Star_by_Mad_LilihHeels have quickly become a staple many women’s closets – they’re stylish, hip, and can put a certain spunk in your stride, but is it hurting women’s foot health in the long run?  Heels have been implicated in many common foot disorders like hammertoe, bunions, and ingrown nails, and can even affect leg and spine health.

Here are a few of the adverse effects of heels:

Toes

The pointed-toe of many heels cause a lot of chronic, long-term pressure on the toes and toe nails, leading to ingrown toenails, foot fungus, and hammertoes.  The narrow nature of many heels can also force the big toe inward, leading to Hallux Valgus, or bunions, which requires orthotics or surgery to correct.

Heel and Ankle

64% of women report heel and ankle pain from regularly wearing heels.  Additionally, the reduced balance from heels greatly improves the risk for painful ankle sprains when walking on uneven ground.

Calves, Knees, and Above

As you move up the body, heels continue to cause stress.  When wearing heels, the calves are shortened for an unnatural period.  Research has shown after decades of heel wear, calves can be shortened by as much as 13%.

High heels cause extra stress in the knees with every step taken, and the pressure within the knee can lead to knee osteoarthritis, and even damage in the spine.

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